SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY— A Monroe County man found guilty of sex trafficking and drug trafficking, was sentenced to an additional 18 months in prison for laundering COVID-19 relief funds.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, Nazim Hassam, age 70, was previously sentenced to 60 months in prison and a $150,000 fine for felony charges related to sex trafficking and drug trafficking.

During Hassam’s pretrial period, United States Attorney John C. Gurganus says Hassam received two loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) while making false statements in the applications.

Court documents say Hassam forged his loan applications to say he and his companies were not under indictment when they were.

Hassam received $89,308 in total for both of his companies, and according to the press release, Hassam used the bulk of those funds to unlawfully pay down a personal line of credit he had in his name.

As part of the plea agreement with the government, Hassam admitted to money laundering and fraud.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion ordered Hassam to serve the 18-months on top of his previous 60-month sentence and $150,000 fine.